A Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland
Catholic Voice Online Edition
Front Page In this Issue Around the Diocese Forum News in Brief Calendar Commentary
Mission Statement
Contact Us
Publication Dates
Back Issues

Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

Movie Reviews

Mass Times

Catholic Voice
articles list
placeholder A note to our readers/
Official Portrait

Welcoming Bishop
Michael C. Barber, SJ

California a large
influence in Barber
family history

Journey to Oakland

Decree appointing
Bishop Barber

Your new bishop,
my brother, Michael,
'did time' at
San Quentin

Welcome to this
local church

Homily for the
ordination of the fifth
bishop of Oakland

Reflection: Lessons remembered, and
lived: Be merciful
and pure of heart

Getting around

'A ministry
of service,
of availability and
of vulnerability'

Bishop, and a
naval officer

A pair of
Navy chaplains

Bishop Barber's
photo album

A lifetime of
spiritual influences
formed Bishop
Barber's path

First classroom visit:
St. Agnes School,
fourth grade

Sister Mary Jude,
a teacher who made
a difference

A hello in their
native language

Why people
came out

Description of
Bishop Barber's
personal coat of arms, episcopal symbols

Parts of a bishop's
coat of arms

high school boys paths intersect
during careers

Bishops of the
Diocese of Oakland

Bishop selection
process is thorough,
strictly confidential

What the Church teaches about

New focus on
Jesuits' role within
the church

What the pope
is looking for
in new bishops

What you might
not know about
Bishop Barber

The bishop at the
cathedral, 2008

By the numbers:
Michael C. Barber, SJ

In This Issue:

Rev. John Paul

placeholder July 15, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
Lessons remembered, and lived:
Be merciful and pure of heart

Rev. Kenneth Nobrega

My two favorite Beatitudes by which I personally try to live out my spiritual life are: "Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy" and "Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God."

And these two Beatitude attributes, mercy and purity of heart, are perhaps what best describes the influences that St. Patrick's Seminary professor Father Michael C. Barber, SJ, imparted to me as a seminarian.

All my interactions and conversations with Father Barber were always centered around the topics of faith, faithfulness, spirituality, standing up for the truth, Catholicism, etc., and on never giving into the forces of negativity.

Father Barber always encouraged his seminarians to keep doing what was right and holy and to always remain faithful despite the naysayers and some of the anti-Church culture around us. Father Barber (and now Bishop Barber), I believe, is pure of heart because his whole being and way of life is focused on God, on the Catholic Church and in bringing people's souls closer to God.

And with regards to mercy, Father Barber imparted to me the valuable lesson of being a gentle confessor; an agent of mercy in the confessional by instructing me on the importance of meeting a penitent "where they were" spiritually and by never letting anyone leave feeling hopeless and unloved.

Father Barber taught me the valuable concept of "gradualism" by which you take someone "where they are" in their spiritual life and then continue working with that individual in order to help build them up and continue to help them grow stronger spiritually thus eventually overcoming their own spiritual struggles.

I believe one of the greatest gifts that Bishop Barber will offer Oakland is to influence us by the witness of how he continues to live out his own Christian faith: pure of heart and merciful.

(Father Kenneth Nobrega is director of vocations for the Diocese of Oakland. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2008.)

back to topup arrow


Copyright © 2013 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.